Game 668 | January 30 | Joe Mauer, Jesse Crain
The Twins invited two of their top young players to Dunkers before the team left for spring training in Florida. For Mauer; 2006 was to be a great season as he led the major leagues with a .347 batting average. Crain proved to be an effective “Set-up" man to closer Joe Nathan, appearing in 68 games with a 3.52 ERA. The team won the American League Central Division and was swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics in the American League Division Series.
Game 669 | March 3 | John Anderson
The Gopher baseball team finished 34-26 in 2006. The Dairy Queen Classic that year featured visiting teams from Notre Dame, Nebraska and Arizona. Outfielder Matt Nohelty made the Freshman All American team.
Game 670 | March 8 | Brad Childress
With the dismissal of popular Mike Tice as Vikings coach, owner Zygi Wilf quickly focused on Childress as his next coach. Childress had never been a head coach, but he was highly regarded as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2005. Childress had previous experience in the midwest as wide receivers coach at Illinois from 1981-1984 and as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 1991-1998.
Game 671 | March 24 | Gene Shaheen
With the NCAA Men's Basketball Regionals at the Metrodome, Shaheen talked about the selection and hosting process. He was in a good position to know. A former head of the Indianapolis organizing committee that hosted the 2000 Final Four, he joined the NCAA as senior vice president of basketball and business strategies. He helped oversee the relocation of NCAA headquarters from Kansas City to Indianapolis.
Game 672 | May 3 | Fran Foley
The Vikings looked beyond long-time employee Scott Studwell when they brought in Foley in January to be vice president of player personnel. The same day he appeared at Dunkers The Star Tribune ran a story documenting both errors and exaggerations on his resume. It marked the first time in Dunkers history that a guest was fired on the same day he appeared at Dunkers.
Game 673 | May 15 | Simone Augustus
The Minnesota Lynx had the first selection in the 2006 WNBA and they used it to select Augustus, a star at Louisiana State who won the Naismith Player of the Year Award, Wooden Award and Wade Trophy while leading LSU to three straight Final Four appearances. She was named WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2006 and played on the 2008 U.S. Women's Gold Medal-winning Olympic team at Beijing.
Game 674 | May 24 | Ron Gardenhire, Terry Ryan
For the first time since 1987 the Twins had legitimate power hitters in Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer. Morneau in 2006 became the first Twin to hit 30 or more home runs in a season since Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti and Kent Hrbek all did it in 1987. Johan Santana and rookie Francisco Liriano led a starting rotation that struggled much of the season. Liriano developed mid-season elbow problems and missed the entire 2007 season after surgery. General Manager Ryan acknowledged that "contract issues" with Hunter and Santana would be a challenge after the 2007 season.
Game 675 | June 7 | Frank Supovitz
Based in part on the outstanding job he did with the National Hockey League All-Star game in St. Paul, Supovitz became the senior vice president of events for the National Football League in 2005. A career event planner, Supovitz took over from Jim Steeg, who became chief operating officer of the San Diego Chargers. Steeg ran the Super Bowl operations for 25 years and spent substantial time in Minnesota when, in 1992, the Metrodome hosted Super Bowl XXVI.
Game 676 | June 29 | Twin Cities Sports Anchors
This popular feature returned in 2006 and featured KARE 11's Randy Shaver, as well as newly arrived Bob Rainey of WCCO TV and KSTP's Rod Simons. Rainey had joined WCCO in 2004. Well-liked by his co-workers, Rainey was diagnosed with colon cancer and died in July 2008 at age 46. Rod Simons, died in February 2017 in Fort Myers, Fla., where he was covering Twins spring training. He was 56.
Game 677 | July 13 | Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, Sr.
A one-time ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings, Fitzgerald Jr. has emerged as one of the leading receivers in the National Football League. An All-American at Pittsburgh, where he was runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting, he was the third overall selection in the 2004 NFL draft. In 2005 he led the FL with 103 receptions. His father is a long-time Twins Cities sports columnist and radio personality.
Game 678 | August 2 | Scott Simpson
A seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, Simpson turned 50 in late 2005 and was making his first appearance at the 3M Championship in Blaine. Twice a national collegiate champion at UCLA, his biggest win as a pro came in 1987 when he birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th holes on his final round to overtake Tom Watson in the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Game 679 | August 3 | Bela Karolyi
A Hungarian who perfected the Romanian gymnastics training program, Karolyi defected to the United States in 1981. He was in town for a touring gymnastics exhibition. He and his wife have coached nine Olympic champions, 15 world champions, 16 European medalists and six U.S. national champions. Among their students are Mary Lou Retton, Betty Okino, Kerry Strug, Teodora Ungureanu, Nadia Comaneci, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips and Dominique Moceanu.
Game 680 | August 17 | Glen Mason
The Gophers finished 6-7 in Coach Mason's lOth and final season as head coach. He was dismissed shortly after the Gophers 44-41 overtime loss to Texas Tech in the 2006 Insight Bowl. His record at Minnesota was 47-54-1, and his conference record was 32-48. The team went to post-season bowl games in seven of his last eight years as coach. In 2007 he began a new career as a television color analyst on the Big Ten Network. He has been a Dunker member since 1997.
Game 681 | October 12 | Doug Risebrough, Bob Naegele
Led in scoring by Brian Rolston and newly acquired Pavol Demitra the Minnesota Wild finished second in the Northwest Division with a record of 48-26-8, best in the team's six-year history. Free agent goaltender Niklas Backstrom alternated in goal with veteran Manny Fernandez. The team lost to Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. Risebrough was an original member of the Wild management team, and Naegele would sell the team in 2008 to Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold.
Game 682 | October 24 | Randy Foye, Fred Hoiberg
Selected by Boston with the seventh pick in the 2006 NBA draft, Foye, a point guard, was immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and from Portland to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played in all 82 games his rookie season, averaging 10.1 points per game. Injuries limited him to 39 games the next year as his scoring average rose to 13.1. In June of 2006 Foye was diagnosed with a rare condition, "situs inversus," in which all his organs are arranged in the mirror image of what is normal. Hoiberg, forced into a front-office position because of a heart condition earlier in 2006, talked about his recovery and transition from the playing floor to a desk job.
Game 683 | November 7 | Lindsay Whalen, Pam Borton
By the time she left Minnesota after the 2003-'04 basketball season, Whalen held nearly every record in school history. Her 2,285 points topped Carol Ann Shudlick's previous mark by some 188 points. Whalen, who played her final two seasons under Coach Borton, returned to assist in coaching the 2006 team. Whalen was a three-time All American who was a first-round draft choice of the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
Game 684 | November 13 Dan Monson
Just two weeks before losing his job, Monson made his final Dunkers appearance. His team started the season 2-5, and Monson was fired after a nationally televised home loss to Clemson. Assistant Jim Molinari finished the season, in which the team won only nine of 31 games. Dan Coleman and Lawvrence McKenzie were the leading scorers. Monson subsequently became the head coach at Long Beach State.
Game 685 | November 29 | Don Lucia
Coach Lucia's hockey Gophers repeated as WCHA Champions this year and also won the WCHA Final Five competition. They defeated Air Force in the first round of NCAA post-season competition before losing in overtime to North Dakota. Jay Barriball, Kyle Okposo, Mike Vanneli, Alex Goligoski and Blake Wheeler led the team in scoring.
Game 686 | December 5 | Laura Halldorson
Two years removed from their back-to-bad National Championships, Coach Halldorson's women's hockey Gophers finished third in the WCHA with a 23-12-1 record. Sophomore forward Gigi Marvin led the team in scoring and was named to the WCHA's fm;t team. Bobbi Ross and Melanie Gagnon made the third team. At the end of the season Halldorson, the only coach in the program's 11-year history, announced she was stepping down. Her career record, including three National Championships, was 278-67-22.
Game 687 | December 14 | Rick Spielman
Following the rapid and unexpected departure of Fran Foley, Spielman joined the Vikings as vice president of player personnel in May 2006. He held the same position with the Miami Dolphins in 2000 and was promoted to Dolphins general manager in 2004. He played collegiately at Southern Illinois and received his Master's Degree at Ohio State, where his younger brother, Chris, was an All-American linebacker.